17 March 2021 Military News
- Biden: Pulling Out US Troops From Afghanistan by 1 May Under Deal With Taliban Would Be 'Tough' Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- The US and the Taliban (a terrorist organisation banned in Russia) struck a deal last year stipulating the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in exchange for certain steps by the Taliban. The organisation vowed to end its attacks against US forces and engage in peace talks with Kabul.
- US may miss deadline for withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden says Press TV 17 Mar 2021 -- US President Joe Biden says it is "tough" to withdraw all the US forces in Afghanistan by May 1, a deadline agreed upon by the Trump administration and the Taliban.
- Biden Says Afghan Exit Deadline Will Be 'Tough' To Meet RFE/RL Gandhara 17 Mar 2021 -- U.S. President Joe Biden has warned that a deadline set out in a deal made by his predecessor, Donald Trump, with the Taliban to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 1 "could happen, but it is tough."
- Pakistan's Khan Lauds Biden's Afghan Peace Plan VOA 17 Mar 2021 -- Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan commended U.S. President Joe Biden Wednesday for pressing ahead with efforts aimed at finding a political settlement to almost two decades of war in Afghanistan.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Acting secretary: Army to build on modernization momentum Army News 17 Mar 2021 -- After a year that saw the Army increasingly called to support the homefront and overcome numerous challenges, the service's top civilian leader said modernization will continue to provide a way forward.
- DOD Working With Norway to Develop High-Speed Propulsion Technologies DoD News 17 Mar 2021 -- The Defense Department and the Norwegian Ministry of Defense jointly announced in April that they will partner on the development of an advanced solid fuel ramjet that could find use in supersonic and hypersonic weaponry.
- MCSC purchases inventive tents, fulfills urgent communication need during COVID-19 USMC News 17 Mar 2021 -- Marine Corps Systems Command recently fielded sturdy, spacious tents, fulfilling an Urgent Universal Need Statement during the COVID-19 pandemic to support command and control missions.
- B-2s land at Lajes Field to join BTF mission US Air Force 17 Mar 2021 -- U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit aircraft from the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, arrived at Lajes Field in support of upcoming Bomber Task Force missions March 16.
- Navy Announces Release of MQ-25A Home Basing Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact US Navy Press Release 17 Mar 2021 -- The Navy has released a final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for home basing of the MQ-25A Stingray carrier-based Unmanned Air System (Stingray CBUAS) at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu, California.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting With Defense Minister Suh Wook of the Republic of Korea DoD 17 Mar 2021
- Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Remarks With Defense Minister Suh Wook of the Republic of Korea in Seoul, Korea DoD 17 Mar 2021
- U.S., South Korean Defense Leaders Consult on Issues, Plan for Future of Alliance DoD News 17 Mar 2021 -- Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III reiterated America's ironclad commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea in his first face-to-face meeting with South Korean Minister of National Defense Suh Wook today in Seoul.
- Blinken Reassures South Korea US to Defend Country Against Any Use of Force, State Dept. Says Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during talks in Seoul with his South Korean counterpart Chung Eui-yong emphasized Washington's commitment to defend the country against any use of force, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Wednesday.
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong Before Their Meeting US Dept. of State 17 Mar 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Meeting with Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Chung US Dept. of State 17 Mar 2021
- Senior Administration Officials Preview of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken's Trip to Anchorage, Alaska US Dept. of State 16 Mar 2021
- NATO Secretary General discusses partnership and domestic developments with Georgian Prime Minister NATO 17 Mar 2021 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili at NATO Headquarters on Wednesday (17 March 2021), ahead of the Prime Minister's meeting with the North Atlantic Council.
- NSPA delivers first of eighteen field hospitals to Italy NATO 17 Mar 2021 -- The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) will deliver 18 field hospitals to the Italian Armed Forces, from which nine will be high tech treatment centres (16 for the Army, one for the Navy and one for the Air Force).
- Russia's Black Sea Fleet Escorts Spanish Frigate Mendez Nunez, Defence Ministry Says Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- A Spanish frigate, the Mendez Nunez, entered the Black Sea on Wednesday and the NATO vessel is already being escorted by forces of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, the Russian Defence Ministry said.
- PLA warplanes hold drills despite sandstorm, showing combat readiness Global Times 17 Mar 2021 -- Warplanes of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force recently conducted flight exercises despite a severe sandstorm, a move military experts said on Wednesday was challenging and demonstrated the service's all-weather combat readiness.
- Chinese peacekeeping helicopter unit to Darfur completes verification before withdrawal PLA Daily 17 Mar 2021 -- The 3rd Chinese peacekeeping helicopter unit to Darfur, Sudan passed the equipment verification organized by the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) with high standard on March 15.
- Taiwan Air Force completes upgrade of 42 F-16A/B fighter jets to F-16Vs CNA 17 Mar 2021 -- Taiwan has completed the upgrade of 42 of its 141 F-16A/Bs fighter jets to F-16Vs, which can "detect enemies earlier and have a longer striking range," Air Force Chief of Staff Huang Chih-wei (黃志偉) said Wednesday.
- Taiwan Boosts Military Presence in Disputed South China Sea as US Helps It Build Fleet of Submarines Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- The US repeatedly violated the self-adopted "One-China" policy under the administration of President Donald Trump, expanding contacts with the self-governing island in the sphere of defence, despite Beijing's protests. It appears that the approach has not changed under the new White House occupant.
- Indigenous Aircraft and Submarines India PIB 17 Mar 2021 -- Indian Navy has placed orders for following indigenous aircraft and submarines:-
- Domestic Procurements India PIB 17 Mar 2021 -- The Government is working on Second 'Positive Indigenisation List' as part of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan on domestic procurements.
- Scheme for Promotion of MSMEs India PIB 17 Mar 2021 -- Following measures have been taken for promotion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in defence production sector:-
- Pilot Killed as Indian Air Force MiG-21 Fighter Jet Crashes Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- There have been several accidents involving MiG-21 aircraft in India. Two months ago, a MiG-21 Bison jet crashed in Rajasthan state while landing, although the pilot survived the incident.
- Islamic Revolution Guards Crops, Iran's strategic, superior defense force IRNA 17 Mar 2021 -- Minister of Defense and Logistics of Armed Forces Brigadier General Amir Hatami said on Wednesday that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) is Iran's strategic and superior defense force and that the Defense Ministry renders comprehensive support for the entire armed forces.
- Israel upgrades 'Iron Dome' amid fears of missile power in Lebanon, Gaza Press TV 17 Mar 2021 -- The Israeli ministry of military affairs says it has upgraded the so-called Iron Dome missile system to intercept additional kinds of projectiles, amid fears in Tel Aviv of the increasing defense capabilities of resistance groups in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
- US Media Brands Turkey's Possible Purchase of Russian Su-57 Stealth Jet 'NATO's Nightmare' Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- Ankara is at present mulling various options to upgrade its Air Force after the US refused to sell F-35 jets to the country over its purchase of the Russian air-defence systems. The announced primary option has so far been the creation of a domestic fighter jet TF-X.
- UK Aims to Counter China 'Threat' in Major Defense Review VOA 17 Mar 2021 -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to counter what he called the "systemic challenge" posed by China as he set out the government's 10-year defense strategy Tuesday.
- UK set to increase size of Royal Navy escort fleet by 2030 Press TV 17 Mar 2021 -- During his parlimanetary defence of the Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign policy, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was at pains to highlight the expansion of the Royal Navy as envisaged by the review.
- Britain to increase nuclear stockpile in foreign policy reverse People's Daily 17 Mar 2021 -- Britain is set to reverse its previous policy to reduce its stockpile of nuclear weapons and instead plans to increase the number of nuclear warheads to 260, the British government announced Tuesday.
- Kremlin blasts Britain's plan to increase nuclear weapons stockpile Press TV 17 Mar 2021 -- The Kremlin has regretted a recent decision by the United Kingdom to increase its nuclear warhead stockpile by more than 40 percent.
- Department Press Briefing – March 17, 2021 US Dept. of State 17 Mar 2021
- Statement by NSC Spokesperson Emily Horne on National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's Call with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg The White House 17 Mar 2021
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, March 17, 2021 The White House 17 Mar 2021
- 17 March 2021 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 17 Mar 2021
- UN humanitarian chief calls for measures to mitigate economic woes in Yemen Global Times 17 Mar 2021 -- UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock on Tuesday called for measures to mitigate the economic woes in Yemen, including direct foreign exchange injection.
- 'Yemen can't wait', UN and partners warn in seeking $3.85 billion for humanitarian response UN News 17 Mar 2021 -- The UN and its humanitarian partners are seeking $3.85 billion to reach 16 million people in Yemen this year, or nearly 80 per cent of the population, as the country descends deeper into crisis.
- Turkish Forces Prevent Return of Residents to 3 Villages in Northern Syria, Russian Military Says Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- Turkish troops have blocked three settlements in Syria's northern province of Raqqah to prevent the return of locals who left their homes due to combat, Rear Adm. Alexander Karpov, deputy head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria, said on Wednesday.
- UN experts say Libya arms embargo 'totally ineffective' Press TV 17 Mar 2021 -- United Nations (UN) experts have assessed that the arms embargo imposed on Libya by the world body continues to be violated on a regular basis and remains "totally ineffective."
- LNA Allows Turkish Merchant Ships to Enter Ports in Eastern Libya, Source Reveals Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- The Libyan National Army (LNA) under Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar allowed Turkish merchant ships to enter ports in eastern Libya, a source confirmed to Sputnik on Wednesday.
- Libya arms embargo 'totally ineffective': UN expert panel UN News 17 Mar 2021 -- An arms embargo imposed on Libya by the Security Council in 2011 remains "totally ineffective" a UN Panel of Experts has said, adding that civilians, including migrants and asylum seekers, continue to suffer widespread rights violations and abuses.
- UN Officials Make First Visit to Bangladesh Island Since Relocation of Rohingya Radio Free Asia 17 Mar 2021 -- A United Nations delegation on Wednesday arrived on an "initial" three-day visit to a Bay of Bengal island where Bangladesh has moved thousands of Rohingya refugees since December, a police official on the island told BenarNews.
- Defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine UK FCDO 17 Mar 2021 -- Joint Statement Following Russia's Arria-formula Meeting on the Situation in Crimea
- UNICEF condemns 'horrific killings' of civilians in Niger UN News 17 Mar 2021 -- The recent "horrific killings" of dozens of civilians in two villages in western Niger have been condemned in the strongest terms by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
- Militants kill 58 in separate attacks in Niger Press TV 17 Mar 2021 -- Unidentified armed "bandits" in Niger have staged several attacks in the restive region of Tillaberi, killing dozens of people, inflicting damage, and stealing vehicles, the government says.
- UN Appeals for $1.2 Billion to Aid South Sudanese Refugees VOA 17 Mar 2021 -- The United Nations' refugee agency and partners are appealing for $1.2 billion to provide life-saving assistance for more than two million refugees from South Sudan. The majority of the refugees are children, living in dire conditions in five neighboring countries.
- Five Things To Know About The U.S. Intelligence Report On Russian Election Interference RFE/RL 17 Mar 2021 -- In late January 2020, as the U.S. presidential campaign started to take shape, a video documentary appeared on U.S. television -- part of an effort, according to the U.S. intelligence community, to bolster Donald Trump's reelection bid and denigrate one of his strongest challengers, former Vice President Joe Biden.
- Kremlin Denies Meddling in 2020 US Elections VOA 17 Mar 2021 -- Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday a U.S. intelligence report indicating Russia meddled in 2020 U.S. elections was "wrong and has absolutely no foundation and evidence."
- ODNI, DOJ, and DHS Release Unclassified Summary of Assessment on Domestic Violent Extremism DHS 17 Mar 2021 -- The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today released an unclassified summary of the joint comprehensive threat assessment on domestic violent extremism. The unclassified summary is attached and will be available on DNI.gov later today.
- Intelligence Agencies Warn Most Lethal Threat to US Is Homegrown VOA 17 Mar 2021 -- U.S. intelligence agencies are warning the country faces a substantial threat from within, fearing a range of domestic extremists could move forward with plans to carry out attacks against fellow citizens or the government itself.
- Statements by Press Secretary Jen Psaki & Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber Anne Neuberger on Microsoft Exchange Vulnerabilities UCG The White House 17 Mar 2021
- US Forms Task Force Group to Respond to Microsoft Hack, Other Cyberattacks Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- The United States has formed a multigovernment agency task force to work with the private sector in responding to the hack on the Microsoft Exchange servers and to respond to future cyberattacks, the White House said on Wednesday.
- US Officials Reject Claims Terrorists Trying to Enter from Mexico VOA 17 Mar 2021 -- U.S. homeland security officials are pushing back against claims that known and suspected terrorists are trying to sneak into the country from Mexico, calling such incidents "very uncommon."
- Myanmar: UN rights office 'deeply disturbed' over intensifying violence against protesters UN News 17 Mar 2021 -- The UN human rights office (OHCHR) said on Tuesday it is "deeply disturbed" that the crackdown on peaceful protesters in Myanmar "continues to intensify", with a soaring death toll on the streets, increasingly aggressive use of lethal force, arbitrary arrests, and reports of torture in custody.
- Council of Buddhist Monks in Myanmar Calls for End to Violence VOA 17 Mar 2021 -- A high-ranking council of Buddhist monks in Myanmar says it is suspending all activities amid the military junta's escalating and deadly crackdown on anti-coup demonstrators.
- Myanmar: Protests continue, powerful Buddhist group signals break with junta Press TV 17 Mar 2021 -- Daily protests have been ongoing for more than a month in Myanmar since the military ousted the civil government and arrested de facto leader Aung Sung Suu Kyi and other political leaders.
- War Zone of Hunger and Fear in Yangon as Myanmar's Last Independent Newspaper is Shut Down Radio Free Asia 17 Mar 2021 -- An intensified crackdown has made a war zone out of suburbs of Myanmar's largest city, which were put under martial law early this week, with soldiers shooting protesters on sight and workers facing starvation, witnesses and aid workers said Wednesday as the regime pulled the plug on the country's last independent newspaper.
- Southeast Asian Politicians: ASEAN Must Sanction Myanmar if Military Doesn't Budge Radio Free Asia 17 Mar 2021 -- Six prominent Southeast Asian politicians on Wednesday urged the region's nations to impose sanctions on Myanmar if the military government there doesn't free political prisoners, restore the elected government it toppled in a coup last month, and prosecute those responsible for killing civilian protesters.
- Why Myanmar's Junta Might Give Brief Reprieve to Embattled Muslim Minority VOA 17 Mar 2021 -- Myanmar's military government, seen as the chief force behind previous long-term violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority, is leaving the population alone for now as it battles protesters. But analysts say the junta is expected to resume the old crackdown over time.
- Beijing Expects Myanmar Authorities to Take 'More Concrete' Steps to Protect Chinese Companies Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- According to the latest reports, several Chinese-run companies in Myanmar have been vandalised in the wake of the anti-coup protests. The Chinese government reportedly suggested companies evacuate non-essential staff from the country, citing safety concerns.
- Exclusive: Chinese enterprises in Myanmar receive no order to evacuate after attacks, deny such reports Global Times 17 Mar 2021 -- "We have not received any official instructions to evacuate," multiple sources with China's state-owned enterprises operating in Myanmar confirmed with the Global Times on Wednesday, denying reports that China had ordered Chinese firms to pull out non-essential staff from Myanmar, which has been mired in a political crisis since February.
- Russia Recalls Ambassador Following Biden Comments VOA 17 Mar 2021 -- Officials in Washington are reacting calmly to Moscow summoning home its ambassador to the United States for consultations about the deteriorated bilateral relationship.
- Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 17 Mar 2021 -- Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov has been summoned to Moscow for consultations in order to analyse what needs to be done in the context of relations with the United States.
- Russia Recalls Washington Ambassador For Consultations RFE/RL 17 Mar 2021 -- Russia said on March 17 that it had summoned its envoy to the United States back to Moscow for consultations on its ties with Washington but stressed it wanted to prevent an "irreversible deterioration" in relations.
- Russian Ambassador to US to Fly to Moscow March 20 for Talks on Relations With Washington Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- On Wednesday, Moscow recalled the diplomat for consultations aimed at "analysing what to do and where to move" in the context of relations with Washington, the Foreign Ministry said.
- Russia Has Nothing to Do With Campaigns Against Any US Presidential Candidates, Kremlin Says Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- Washington is allegedly planning to impose sanctions on Russia in the coming week as a response to an NIC report that accused Moscow of election meddling during the 2020 presidential vote.
- Biden: Putin will 'pay a price' for 2020 election meddling Press TV 17 Mar 2021 -- US President Joe Biden says Russian President Vladimir Putin will "pay a price" for his interference in the US 2020 presidential election with the aim of undermining Biden's candidacy.
- Russia rejects allegations of Putin-directed meddling in 2020 US election Press TV 17 Mar 2021 -- Russia has rejected allegations of interference in the United States' 2020 presidential election, saying Washington is seeking to besmirch Moscow's image and blame others for its own problems.
- Tensions With Russia Flare As Biden Says Putin Will 'Pay A Price' For Election Meddling RFE/RL 17 Mar 2021 -- Already tense relations between Russia and the United States are fraying further as U.S. President Joe Biden suggested Russian President Vladimir Putin will soon "pay a price" for alleged meddling in U.S. elections and Russia summoned its ambassador to the United States back to Moscow for consultations.
- Russia Rejects U.S. Report That Putin Authorized Election Meddling, But Braces For More Sanctions RFE/RL 17 Mar 2021 -- The Kremlin has denied a U.S. report saying President Vladimir Putin authorized misinformation operations to try to influence last year's presidential election but said Russia is readying for new sanctions over the issues.
- Moscow Sees US Intelligence Report on 'Election Meddling' as Unsubstantiated Hoax Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- The US intelligence's claims about Moscow's interference in the 2020 presidential vote are nothing but an unsubstantiated hoax, as the report is just adjusted to some conclusions that were invented in advance, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Sputnik on Wednesday.
- U.S. Expands Russia Restrictions Over Poisoning Of Kremlin Critic Navalny RFE/RL 17 Mar 2021 -- The United States has expanded restrictions imposed on Russian experts that were imposed earlier this month as punishment for the poisoning of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on March 17, 2021 PRC MofA 17 Mar 2021
- State Dept to Sanction Institutions That Conduct Transactions With 24 Chinese, Hong Kong Officials Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- This comes amid the looming US-China meeting in Alaska, where American officials are set to raise matters such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and economic coercion of US allies, according to the US Department of State.
- Hong Kong Autonomy Act Update US Dept. of State 17 Mar 2021 -- "Yesterday in Tokyo, Japan, I spoke of the need to stand up for our shared democratic values and to work together to hold to account those who would threaten them."
- Beijing Expresses Protest Over New US Sanctions Related to Hong Kong Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- Beijing opposes the new US sanctions related to Hong Kong, as it sees the move as interference in China's domestic affairs, the foreign ministry's spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said on Wednesday, warning of retaliative steps.
- China shrugs off US sanctions over HK, set to insist on core stances in Alaska Global Times 17 Mar 2021 -- As the world is turning its eyes to a critical high-level meeting between senior Chinese and US officials, the US picked up a signature Trump-era strategy of wielding the stick ahead of talks by issuing on Wednesday sanctions against two dozen Chinese mainland and Hong Kong officials, including 14 vice chairmen of the Standing Committee of China's top legislature, one day ahead of the meeting in Alaska.
- China's top legislature likely to work on details of HK electoral reform next week Global Times 17 Mar 2021 -- Central Chinese officials on Hong Kong affairs wrapped up on Wednesday a three-day seminar with over 1,000 representatives from various sectors of Hong Kong on their opinions about the upcoming electoral reform in Hong Kong, including those from the opposition, and their opinions will be presented to the next meeting of China's top legislature for the election overhaul, officials told the Global Times.
- Decision on improving Hong Kong's electoral system marks new chapter for the development of Hong Kong People's Daily 17 Mar 2021 -- The recently-concluded fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, passed a decision on improving the electoral system of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
- Beijing censures US sanctions on Chinese officials over Hong Kong Press TV 17 Mar 2021 -- China's Foreign Ministry has strongly censured the latest US financial sanctions on Chinese officials over Hong Kong, demanding Washington immediately stop interfering in its internal affairs.
- US sanctions 24 Chinese, Hong Kong officials ahead of talks with Beijing Press TV 17 Mar 2021 -- The United States has sanctioned 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials just ahead of President Joe Biden administration's first face-to-face talks with China.
- Pro-Protest Artists in Hong Kong to Lose Funding Under Security Law Radio Free Asia 17 Mar 2021 -- A funding body in Hong Kong on Wednesday warned the city's vibrant arts sector that it will soon face much greater scrutiny under a draconian national security law forbidding public criticism of the city's government or the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
- EU to Slap Sanctions on China Over Abuses of Uyghurs and Others in Xinjiang Radio Free Asia 17 Mar 2021 -- European Union members have agreed to impose sanctions on four Chinese officials and one entity over Beijing's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), European diplomats were quoted as saying Wednesday.
- 'We Will Not Back Down': China's EU Ambassador Warns Bloc to 'Think Twice' on Xinjiang Sanctions Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- As the European Union moves to impose its first sanctions on the People's Republic of China in 30 years, the socialist nation's chief envoy to the EU has issued a stern warning about what lies ahead if they should proceed.
- U.S. to raise concerns on China's aggression in high-level meeting CNA 17 Mar 2021 -- The U.S. administration will make clear its "deep concerns" about China's increasingly aggressive activities across the Taiwan Strait during an upcoming meeting between top U.S. and Chinese officials, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday.
- North Korea Tries Familiar Gambit as US Delegation Arrives in Region Radio Free Asia 17 Mar 2021 -- North Korea's first statement to the Biden Administration, a string of crude-yet-colorful threats from leader Kim Jong Un's powerful sister, were shrugged off by the top U.S. diplomat as he arrived in Asia, but analysts said they could point to new missile tests or other attention-getting moves by Pyongyang.
- North Korea May Test Advanced ICBM 'in the Near Future', US General Claims Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- Last year, during talks between Washington and Pyongyang on denuclearising the Korean Peninsula, Kim Jong-un said North Korea would not implement a ban on nuclear testing until the US offered some concessions. The said talks have been stalled for some time.
- Nothing to happen unless US removes sanctions: Official IRNA 17 Mar 2021 -- Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said in a Twitter message on Wednesday that nothing will happen if the United States does not take serious measures to remove "oppressive sanctions".
- Iran won't return to JCPOA before US does so: government spokesman ISNA 17 Mar 2021 -- Iranian government spokesman, Ali Rabiei announced that Tehran will not return to its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal until the United States fulfills its obligations.
- US knows how to break impasse, but wants to extract concessions from Iran through coercion: Zarif Press TV 17 Mar 2021 -- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says that the United States knows exactly what it takes to resolve its standoff with Iran, but still seeks to use pressure tactics to extract concessions from the Islamic Republic.
- Iran Begins Uranium Enrichment With More Advanced Centrifuges RFE/RL 17 Mar 2021 -- Iran has begun enriching uranium at its underground Natanz plant using a cascade of advanced centrifuges, the latest breach of a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
- Russia Is Concerned as Iran Starts Enriching Uranium With Advanced Centrifuges Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- Russia is concerned over Iran's decision to start enriching uranium at its Natanz plant with new advanced IR-4 centrifuges, and it calls both on Tehran and on Washington to exercise restraint, deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov told Sputnik on Wednesday.
- Iran Aviation Body Says Air Defense Mistake Caused Shooting Down Of Ukraine Airliner RFE/RL 17 Mar 2021 -- Iran's civil aviation body has blamed a mistake by an air defense operator for the downing of a Ukrainian passenger airliner last year that killed all 176 people on board.
- Canada Calls Iran's Report on Downed Ukrainian Jet 'Incomplete', Vows to Release Own Results Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 on January 8, 2020 was shot down by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) after taking off from the Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport. The passenger plane was bound for Kiev.
- Joint statement on the release of flight PS752 safety report UK FCDO 17 Mar 2021 -- Joint statement from the International Coordination and Response Group for the victims of Flight PS752 on the release of Iran's final safety investigation report.
- More Than 400 People Convicted In Belarus Over Postelection Protests RFE/RL 17 Mar 2021 -- More than 400 people have been convicted so far in a brutal crackdown by authorities against pro-democracy protesters in Belarus following a disputed presidential election seven month ago.
- Ex-French President Sarkozy Goes on Trial for Illegal Campaign Financing Sputnik 17 Mar 2021 -- A trial into illicit financing of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy's 2012 reelection campaign opened in Paris on Wednesday.
- A force for good: Global Britain in a competitive age UK FCDO 17 Mar 2021 -- Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab gave a speech at the Aspen Security Conference, setting out out how Global Britain will act as a force for good in today's world.
- Pakistan Opposition Alliance Unravels Over Strategy Dispute RFE/RL Gandhara 17 Mar 2021 -- Nearly six months after major opposition political parties in Pakistan coalesced in a grand coalition to cleanse politics of military interference by pushing Prime Minster Imran Khan out of power, their alliance appears to be disintegrating.
- Oobjectives of the Chandrayaan-2 mission significantly attained: Dr Jitendra Singh India PIB 17 Mar 2021 -- Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr.Jitendra Singh said that Chandrayaan-2 was a highly complex mission to develop and demonstrate the key technologies for end-to-end lunar mission capability, including soft-landing and roving on the lunar surface.
- Actions in Turkey's Parliament US Dept. of State 17 Mar 2021 -- The United States is closely following events in Turkey, including troubling moves on March 17 to strip Member of Parliament Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu of his parliamentary seat.
- Villagers Worried About Premature Construction on Laos' Luang Prabang Dam Radio Free Asia 17 Mar 2021 -- Villagers living near the site of a planned large-scale Mekong River dam near the former royal capital of Laos say they are worried because the government has already begun construction on the project before its international approval process is complete, they told RFA.
- Interpol Said To Have Rejected Armenia's Bid To Put Former Chief Prosecutor On Wanted List RFE/RL 17 Mar 2021 -- Armenian authorities say the search for a former prosecutor-general wanted on criminal charges continues after a document unveiled by a lawmaker suggested that Interpol has refused to put him on the international wanted list.
- A Century Ago, The Treaty Of Riga Redrew The Map. It Still Reverberates Today. RFE/RL 17 Mar 2021 -- One hundred years ago, a treaty now forgotten by many was signed in the Latvian capital, Riga. It formally ended an undeclared war between Poland, just reemerging on the map after being wiped out centuries earlier, and upstart Bolshevik Russia, which was preaching world communist revolution.
- Sudan Requests UN, US, EU Help to Resolve Dam Conflict With Ethiopia VOA 17 Mar 2021 -- Sudan has formally requested four-party mediation on the standoff with Ethiopia over Addis Ababa's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a hydropower dam on the Blue Nile River.
- Political Polarization in Lebanon Blocking Key Reforms VOA 17 Mar 2021 -- A U.N. official warns political polarization in Lebanon is blocking progress on key reforms and worsening the already dismal socio-economic situation in the country.
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